- Age Range: 4 and up
- Series: Alyson Wonderland
- Paperback: 32 pages
- Publisher: Alyson Books (July 1, 1994)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1555831184
- ISBN-13: 978-1555831189
- Product Dimensions: 8.6 x 0.2 x 11 inches
- Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 30 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #885,049 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Daddy's Roommate (Alyson Wonderland) Paperback – July 1, 1994
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From Publishers Weekly
This picture book is an auspicious beginning to the Alyson Wonderland imprint, "which focuses on books for and about the children of lesbian and gay parents." That the venture is being undertaken is in itself commendable: consciousness-raising concerning gay issues can handily begin at an early age with the help of books such as Willhoite's. His text is suitably straightforward, and the format--single lines of copy beneath full-page illustrations--easily accessible to the intended audience. The story's narrator begins with his parents' divorce, and continues, "Now there's somebody new at Daddy's house." The new arrival is male; Frank and Daddy are seen pursuing their daily routine (eating, shaving, sleeping--even fighting), and on weekends the three interact easily on their various outings. "Mommy says Frank and Daddy are gay"--this new concept is explained to the child as "just one more kind of love." Willhoite's cartoony pictures work well here; the colorful characters with their contemporary wardrobes and familiar surroundings lend the tale a stabilizing air of warmth and familiarity. Ages 2-5.
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Library Binding edition.
From School Library Journal
PreSchool-Grade 2-- A first title in a new line of books for children with homosexual parents , told in a straightforward manner. A young boy describes his father's relationship with his roommate, Frank (they "live together, work together, eat together, sleep together . . ."), and his own relationship with these men--shopping, gardening, and enjoying the zoo, beach, movies, etc. He believes that "being gay is just one more kind of love. And love is the best kind of happiness." The tone throughout the book is positive, and the boy has healthy, affectionate bonds with the adults in his life. There is no mention of bitterness or possible criticism from others. The message, that alternative lifestyles are as nurturing as mainstream ones, is intentionally obvious. Bright, framed watercolors in an almost comic-book style portray the relationships with a light touch. This is a book to consider for purchase because of the treatment of the subject rather than for the quality of writing or art. It will be useful for children in similar situations or for helping those from heterosexual families understand differences. A similar picture book, Leslie Newman's Heather Has Two Mommies (In Other Words, 1989) presents a lesbian family. --Heide Piehler, Shorewood Public Library, WI
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Library Binding edition.
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I do not like the book's simplistic explanation of "gay." "...it's a different kind of love...." As an early childhood educator I like Rosie O'Donnell's explanation much better where she says something like "most men love women and most women love men but some men love men and some women love women."
This is a book that is meant to help people living in the real world, where people really are born both gay and good.
Just 20 years ago, all of this seems shocking and impossible. Now...it's not a relevant book. There are so many more books out there about being gay and having gay parents and so many other facets of queer life and culture. "Daddy's Roommate" was necessary to change minds and forward the gay right's movement, but it can be retired, now. Read it for a history lesson, if you're an adult, but seek out newer books for your little ones to learn from.
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